Ballina

Lighthouse Beach, Ballina Shire Council / Tourism New South Wales

Population 14675

Ballina sits on an island at the mouth of the Richmond River in northern New South Wales. The sandy beaches, clear water and warm weather make the area popular. Ballina's name comes from the Aboriginal word 'bullenah', which is said to mean 'place where oysters are plentiful'. This is still the case, with fresh seafood readily available in many seaside restaurants.

Visitor Information

6 River St; (02) 6686 3484 or 1800 777 666

www.discoverballina.com.au

Nearby national parks

  • Broadwater National Park

    Located on the state’s north-east coast, Broadwater National Park’s outstanding feature is its lovely sweep of beach, with...more

  • Bundjalung National Park

    Bundjalung National Park protects a superb 38-kilometre stretch of the state’s far north coastline, including secluded beaches,...more

  • Wollumbin National Park

    The looming presence of iconic Mount Warning is at the heart of this national park, a lush rainforest environment on the state’s far...more

Nearby towns

  • Alstonville Intro

    Alstonville is between Lismore and Ballina, surrounded by macadamia and avocado plantations. It's known for its immaculate gardens and...more

  • Byron Bay

    Byron Bay's excellent beaches, laid-back feel and great weather have made it a long-time destination for surfers, backpackers and...more

  • Lismore

    This regional centre of the Northern Rivers district is on the banks of the Wilsons River. European settlement came in 1840 when John Brown...more

In Town

Shelly Beach A superb spot for the whole family. Dolphins can be seen frolicking in the waves all year round and humpback whales migrate through these waters between June–July and Sept–Oct. The beach itself has rockpools, a wading pool for toddlers and a beachside cafe. Off Shelly Beach Rd.

Naval and Maritime Museum: features a restored Las Balsas Expedition raft that sailed from South America in 1973; Regatta Ave; (02) 6681 1002.

Kerry Saxby Walkway: from behind the visitor centre to the river mouth, with great river and ocean views.

The Big Prawn: much-loved Ballina icon currently undergoing renovation; Pacific Hwy.

Richmond Princess and Bennelong: river cruises; bookings at visitor centre.

Shaws Bay: swimming and picnic area; off Compton Dr.

Water Slide: River St.

Nearby

Lennox Head A beachside town with a good market held on the 2nd and 5th Sun each month on the shores of Lake Ainsworth (also a popular spot for windsurfing). The lake has been nicknamed the Coca-Cola lake due to coloration from surrounding tea trees. Pat Morton Lookout affords excellent views along the coast, with whale-watching between June–July and Sept–Oct. Below is The Point, a world-renowned surf beach. The outskirts of town offer scenic rainforest walks. 10km N.

Thursday Plantation: tea-tree plantation with product sales and maze; (02) 6620 5150; 3km W.

Macadamia Castle: features macadamia products, industry displays, minigolf and children's wildlife park; (02) 6687 8432; 15km N.

Whale-watching: bookings at visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Clarrie Hall Dam - Fishing Sub-region 52 km

Angling is a buzz when you are into a hot bite. It is also a buzz when discovering new territory or out hooking with other anglers, observing their methods and techniques on their home waters. So it was when I fished... Find out more


Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving and snorkelling around Byron Bay 25 km

Although there is not much in the way of shore dives or snorkelling around Byron Bay, the nearby Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is a top spot if you can get on a boat, with sea turtles, eagle rays, corals, grey nurse and... Find out more


Cafes & restaurants around town

Ballina Manor Boutique 
Hotel

This heritage-listed Edwardian boutique hotel treats guests to modern Australian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Indulge in the eight-course degustation or choose from the extensive à la carte menu, with dishes... Find out more


Nearby breweries

Stone and Wood Brewing 26 km

The popular coastal holiday destination of Byron Bay is the location for one of the country’s newest and most exciting craft breweries – Stone & Wood. The partners behind the venture include a trio of... Find out more


Campsites around town

Flat Rock Tent Park 4 km

This is a simple camping spot 4 km north-east of Ballina on the Coast Rd (Lennox Head Rd) but it’s quiet and protected despite being about a 3 min walk to Angels Beach. With Ballina and Lennox Head close by,... Find out more


Broken Head Holiday Park 18 km

At Broken Head Nature Reserve, lush and fertile rainforests reach emerald tendrils all the way down to long, sweeping beaches, and this holiday park is tucked in right next to the reserve, 7 km south of Byron Bay.... Find out more


Rummery Park camping area 34 km

From this roomy, friendly camping area you can take a short walk following Boggy Creek to the beautiful Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park. Other activities include birdwatching and car touring. To get here, turn off... Find out more


Massey Greene Holiday Park 36 km

This is in a top location, right on the Brunswick River and minutes away from Brunswick Heads town centre. The river offers swimming, fishing, snorkelling and boating, and there’s a surf beach only a 10 min walk... Find out more


Black Rocks camping area 47 km

Black Rocks is on Ten Mile Beach, via unsealed Gap Rd, 5 km south of Woodburn. There are concrete bunkers from World War II here – a section in the north of the park is still used by the military for target... Find out more


Mount Warning Rainforest Park 58 km

Surround yourself with lush and up-tempo rainforest and mountain streams in this verdant mid-north-coast holiday park at the foot of Mt Warning. Accommodation options include deluxe, ensuite and budget cabins, and tent... Find out more


Woody Head camping area 59 km

Surrounded by remnant subtropical rainforest, Woody Head is the larger of the park’s 2 camping areas with more than 100 sites, 4 cabins, hot showers, a kiosk and a boat launch. Fishing, swimming, snorkelling and... Find out more


Cutters Camp camping area 59 km

You’ll find Cutters Camp where Mebbin Forest and Caddell rds meet. Unsealed Mebbin Forest Rd is a 35 km scenic route with wonderful views of the region’s volcanic, forest-clad landscape; you’ll need a... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Ballina Central Holiday Park 1 km

This park is across the road from the water, at the end of the main street and just walking distance from the shops. The park has good amenities. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at... Find out more


South Ballina Beach Holiday Park 2 km

This is a very neat park on the south side of the Richmond River. It is in a quiet area and is one of the few parks along this stretch of coast where pets are permitted (except in Christmas and Easter holidays). Bookings... Find out more


Ballina Headlands Leisure Park 6 km

On a popular holiday coast, this park is about 500 metres from the water and 9 km north-east of Ballina off the Beach Road. It is a good base when visiting the area and has a heated pool for winter months. Bookings are... Find out more


Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park 9 km

Located alongside Lake Ainsworth and across the road from the beach, this is a good basic park in a great position. The surf club is nearby and the popular beach is great for swimming or walking. This is a council park... Find out more


Broken Head Holiday Park 18 km

This stretch of coast is a busy holiday area. The park is located on the beach and has good facilities, and popular Byron Bay is 8.5 km north. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies in... Find out more


Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park 20 km

A popular beachside holiday park that is busy year-round, this park has good facilities and is 6 km south of Byron Bay. It is close to some popular surfing and swimming beaches. Bookings are required in peak periods and... Find out more


Glen Villa Resort 24 km

This is a high quality park with good facilities, about 400 metres from the town centre. It has the unusual policy of permitting just two people per site. No bookings are taken, and a minimum-length stay applies at... Find out more


First Sun Holiday Park 25 km

Every now and then we discover a park in a fabulous position. This place is on the beach at Byron Bay, within walking distance of the town centre, the restaurants and the nightlife. The park is busy year-round and is... Find out more


Silver Sands Holiday Park 31 km

This is a huge beachside park with good facilities just a short walk from the centre of town. It has many permanent holiday vans and is a very popular holiday spot for people from the nearby inland towns. Bookings are... Find out more


Terrace Reserve Holiday Park 36 km

Close to the centre of Brunswick Heads, this is a good quality park on the water and ideal for a holiday or just a few days. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Ballina Beach Resort

Ballina Beach Resort is Ballina’s sole beachfront hotel, set on just over a hectare of tropical gardens. Location is everything and the major attraction for guests coming to stay at this resort just a stone’s... Find out more


Ballina Manor Boutique 
Hotel

Escape to this multi-award-winning, heritage-listed manor on Ballina Island. There are 12 luxurious guest suites to choose from, fine dining in a fully licensed à la carte restaurant and a variety of activities,... Find out more


Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Emerald Valley Villa 30 km

Nestled in the hinterland some 25 minutes drive from Byron Bay, this is way up the high end of ecotourism in this country. You can rent your own five-star palace (they call it a villa), complete with pool, courtyard,... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Wardell rest area 12 km

22km N of Woodburn (L) or 14km S of Ballina (L)

Large areas just off the highway on both sides.


Tyagarah rest area 30 km

36km N of Ballina (L)     

Just off the highway. For northbound only.


Woodburn park area 32 km

At Woodburn

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the river.


Trustons Hill rest area 34 km

40km S of Woodburn (L)

Just off the highway behind some trees. For southbound only.


New Italy rest area 41 km

At New Italy

Just off the highway under shady trees near the museum and cafe. Big rigs at north end of the rest area.


Yelgun rest area 42 km

50km N of Ballina (R) or 42km S of Tweed Heads (L)

Well off the highway.


Sleepy Hollow rest area 49 km

58km N of Ballina (L) or 32km S of Tweed Heads (L)

Just off the highway on both sides.


Beekeepers rest area 58 km

28km S of Woodburn (L)

Adjacent to the highway. For southbound only.


What's on around town

Market: Canal Rd; 3rd Sun each month.

Ballina Cup: horserace; Sept.

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